According to Shopify, worldwide eCommerce sales have topped $3.5 million in 2019; which is an increase of 18% sales in a year. The sales are estimated to double by 2023. Approximately 2 billion people have made online purchases in the year 2019. Hence, it is safe to say that more than 20% of the world population shops online. 2020 will expectedly bring more online consumers to the forefront – this is the best time for eCommerce stores.
How to increase eCommerce sales?
Build brand loyalty
Customers trust businesses with similar views and practices. To build a loyal consumer base, understanding who your niche audience is, what they believe in, and how to get their attention is important. You can also make every customer you have feel appreciated through personalized offers, no matter how small, and provide top quality products/services.
Fair prices are the best prices
The products/services you sell should come for the best price in the market. For that, you might need to do your research about the price of similar items in competitive eCommerce stores. If your prices are higher than the rest, you can choose to negotiate better with your wholesaler, change your wholesaler, or offer your consumers discounts on shipping prices for a specific amount.
Creative USPs sell more products
While you might not be the only eCommerce store selling the product/services you offer, your USP can be something completely different. For example, it could be like a premier quality for a lower price or handcrafted materials over readymade ones or customized products or lower price points or better discounts or faster shipping or unique packaging. Finding something that makes you unique and evolving constantly to remain unique is very important for eCommerce stores.
Improved Customer Service
The way that online businesses handle customer service determines how much customers trust the business in the long run. Remembering that the primary focus of eCommerce is to make the shopping experience of customers easier is essential. Every question is important when a customer asks it. Easy navigation is always expected at an eCommerce store. Therefore, if a customer complains about navigation issues or demands easier navigation, businesses should pay heed to it.
If a dramatic sale increase is what you are looking for, implementing an effective referral program can do that for you. It increases traffic and makes your business more visible. It depends on the brand loyalty that you build in the first stages of your business. The best thing about referral programs is that they serve as a golden goose for a company; a gift that keeps on giving. Once you have convinced a group of people about your product/services, they will keep praising your store as long as they are satisfied.
If you search the internet or ask people in the industry, you can get inspiration from several business giants for effective referral programs. There is Google, Uber, Dropbox, Evernote, and even Tesla. Amazon had one of the best referral programs in the market which was recently discontinued. The structure of your referral program depends on what your expectations are from it and how well you understand your consumer base. However, there are several tried and tested steps one can take to build an effective referral infrastructure.
Steps to boost referral sales to your eCommerce store
1. Social Media Efforts
If customers have proven their loyalty to your brand and your services, shown great interest in the new products, and have admittedly had a wonderful time with your store, you should remind them to share their experience on social media platforms.
A hashtag of your product or store name, a recommendation or review on your Facebook page, and Twitter or Instagram mentions can help take your business to new heights. The social media links for your business should also be easily accessible through your website, emails, and newsletters.
2. Use your best customers to your benefit
There are several businesses, both big and small, that are customer favorites. People, who love their products or services, swear by them and would readily recommend them over their competitors. If your business has such an advantage, you should use these customers as your case studies and learn from them.
You can also ask for their permission to feature them as satisfied customers on your marketing materials, social media pages, traditional advertisements, etc. Asking them to explain their pleasant experiences on your eCommerce store will help you get the praise and help them understand that you appreciate their feedback.
3. Do your part as a member of the Industry
One of the best ways to boost your referrals is to ensure that you recommend other businesses, providing services different to yours, regularly to your friends, family, and loyal customers. This can start a chain reaction and lead to a lot of traffic to your eCommerce store. To do that, you can join a business networking group or create a campaign of your own to recommend different products or services from other businesses to your audience.
4. Offer incentive for referrals
Most companies looking for a referral boost tend to offer their customers incentives or thank you gifts for recommending their services and products to other people. Simple gifts like gift certificates for your own company or any popular company like Amazon or Starbucks or even Pizza Hut can work. You can also choose a more personalized gift or something everyone likes, for example, fruit baskets or flowers with personalized notes.
A sure-fire way to get your customers hooked to the referral system is to offer them some incentive or the other just for the referrals. This will ensure that whether they buy something from your eCommerce store or not, they will always try to earn some gift by referring everybody they know.
5. Make it fun for the customers
The referral process doesn’t need to be boring and bothersome to your customers. On top of the incentives, you can also create contests and surveys through which they can win a stipulated grand prize. If the chance of winning the prize increases with each referral they send your way, each ‘like’ they and their friends send to your social media pages, each mention they give you, and other actions they take to promote your business online, your customers might do all of those to have a crack at winning the prize.
Bonus Tip – Ask for the recommendations
There are very popular statistics in the referral market which show that although 83% of happy customers are ready to give referrals, only 29% end up recommending the services or products of the companies they had a good experience with. Why is that? That is simply because businesses shy away from asking for referrals. If you want more referrals, the easiest way is to ask for them.
There was word of mouth in the past; there are referral programs in the present that drive traffic to businesses. Your eCommerce store is no different than a physical store in terms of earning recommendations. The brand value of every business is still dependent on the trust they garner from loyal customers.
Rahul Sharma is a content writer for ReferralCandy and CandyBar.